Springfield micro-lending fund gives $120K in 1st 2 months

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The city of Springfield’s new micro-lending program has given out a total of $120,000 in loans to small business owners and entrepreneurs in its first two months. The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the micro-lending program started in mid-September. According to the city, about 40 people have applied for loans, and 22 have been approved. Karen Davis, the city’s director of planning and economic development, says officials “continue to get numerous calls every day.” Money from the loans has been used by startups, as well as by existing businesses that needed extra capital to make upgrades. The maximum possible loan is $50,000, and payback periods range from one to five years. Small-business counselor Danielle Pitts said interest rates vary from 8.5 percent to 14 percent.